BLACKSBURG - The third-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling squad will hit the road and head north for a pair of tough dual meets this weekend, taking on No. 16 Rutgers Friday night at 7 o?clock inside the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, and will then head to College Park, Md., for an ACC match with Maryland on Sunday afternoon at 2 o?clock inside the Comcast Pavillion.

The Rutgers match is a highly anticipated one as the Scarlet Knights have won 12 straight dual matches to climb in the national polls. They have four ranked wrestlers and the match could come down to bonus points. At 149 pounds, fourth-ranked Mario Mason will tangle with Tech?s eighth-ranked Brian Stephens. At 157 pounds, Tech?s Jesse Dong (ranked eighth) with take on 17th-ranked Daryl Cocozzo.

The two teams have one common opponent: North Carolina. Rutgers beat UNC 28-6 and the Hokies beat the Tar Heels 25-9. Tech won the lone bout between the two, a 24-21 comeback win on Jan. 18, 2009 in Blacksburg. There could be several rematches from that match: at 125 pounds, Jarrod Garnett pinned Matt Fusco; at 141 pounds, Trevor Melde beat Chris Diaz, 2-1; and at heavyweight, David Marone beat DJ Russo, 10-6 (Russo is now ranked fourth in the country).

On Sunday, the Hokies will put their 11-match conference winning streak on the line when they take on a streaking Maryland squad, undefeated in 2011 and 9-3 overall. Last year?s match was cancelled due to a winter storm in the Maryland area. The Terps hold a 12-6 lead in the series that dates back to 1942. Maryland features three strong wrestlers at the upper middleweights: No. 13 Kyle John at 157 pounds, No. 5 Josh Asper at 165 pounds and No. 17 Mike Letts at 184 pounds.

Rutgers will broadcast the match on KnightVision on its website and will host live stats on the NWCA site. Maryland will also have live stats on the NWCA site.

Below are the probable lineups for all three teams, as submitted by the respective coaching staffs.

#3 Virginia Tech (13-3, 1-0 ACC)
125: #13 Jarrod Garnett (20-5)
133: #8 Devin Carter (22-5)
141: #13 Chris Diaz (22-5)
149: #8 Brian Stephens (21-6)
157: #8 Jesse Dong (7-1)
165: #15 Pete Yates (20-4)
174: Matt Epperly (10-8)
184: #19 Tommy Spellman (12-7) OR John Dickson (15-10)
197: Chris Penny (9-16)
285: David Marone (12-5)

#16 Rutgers (16-1, 5-0 EIWA)
125: Joe Langel (12-5) OR Matt Fusco (13-9)
133: Mike Demarco (12-8)
141: Trevor Melde (17-8) OR David Greenwald (0-0)
149: #4 Mario Mason (17-3) OR Jordan Beverly (7-5)
157: #17 Daryl Cocozzo (16-6) OR Joe Mcaulay (3-2
165: Nick Visicaro (10-7) OR #7 Scott Winston (11-2)
174: #14 Alex Caruso (19-7)
184: Don Rinaldi (11-5) OR Michael Cucinotta (4-7)
197: Dan Hopkins (7-3) OR Mike Wagner (10-9)
285: #4 DJ Russo (18-3) OR Carl Buchholz (13-5)

Maryland (9-3, 0-0 ACC)
125: Shane Gentry (13-10)
133: Lou Ruland (13-7) OR Joey Boone (2-7)
141: Jon Kohler (14-5)
149: Ben Dorsay (22-11)
157: #13 Kyle John (23-6)
165: #5 Josh Asper (21-2)
174: #17 Mike Letts (19-5)
184: Corey Peltier (14-6)
197: Christian Boley (10-9)
285: Spencer Myers (18-6)




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